May 23, 2019 | By Alice Gividen
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New York: The designer, himself, provided the biggest clue behind Richard Chai’s new collection. For those familiar with Chai’s personal style, the military and workwear influences peppered throughout the show were the first give-away. Turning away from fashion’s current fascination with the casual, Chai traded in his Grunge ID card for something more polished, even elegant. Most silhouettes were straight and cinched, revealing influences from 40s wartime into 50s New Look, with structured ease in the place of languid slouch. Menswear was another touchstone, as prim jackets were met with professorial plaid trousers and pencil skirts with strong-shouldered blazers. The precise tailoring, however, revealed the curve of the figure under those once oversized layers, making for one of the most ladylike collections of Chai’s oeuvre.—Nivara Xaykao
Silhouette: Straight / Built-out hips
Color: Olive drab / Orchid / Teal / Iris / Taupe
Key Items: Pencil skirt / Oversized parka / Fitted bomber / Fit ‘n’ flare dress / Plaid trousers
Materials: Gabardine / Men’s suiting / Brocade / Charmeuse / Chiffon / Duchesse satin / Bouclé / High-shine nylon
Print + Pattern: English plaids / Pixelated florals / Lacy stenciling
Details + Trim: Body-mapping panels / Peplums / Thigh-high slits / Piping
Accessories + Footwear: Round-toe platform / Booties
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